Changing Planet

Join a LIVE Twitter Chat With @PaulSalopek, Walking Across the Planet

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Paul Salopek, has embarked on a seven-year global trek from Africa to Tierra del Fuego, following the footsteps of our ancient human forebears. (Photo by John Stanmeyer/National Geographic Creative)

Join a LIVE Twitter chat with explorer, @PaulSalopek, July 22 at 11:00 am ET using #NatGeoLive.

“I am walking across the planet,” says Paul Salopek, National Geographic Fellow.

“For more than two years, I have hopscotched over searing lava fields. I have crabbed sideways through alleys in vast migrant slums. I have traversed sun-hammered deserts and scaled peaks in blinding snow. I have swaggered down fashionable boulevards.

“What has all this plodding taught me?”

You’re probably wondering the same thing.

So go ahead and ask him. For the first time since November, 2013, Paul will be engaging in a live Twitter chat from his account, @PaulSalopek, using #NatGeoLive.

The Story So Far

A Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent, Paul is 4,000 miles into his 21,000-mile, seven-year journey retracing the pathways of humanity’s migration out of Africa and around the globe—on foot, as our ancestors traveled, all chronicled at outofedenwalk.com.

Journalist, Paul Salopek, retraced the migration of early humans out of Africa to explore the world.
From the region of Africa where some of our earliest human ancestors lived, to the tip of South America, the symbolically farthest place they could reach, Paul’s journey will cover some 21,000 miles. (Map by Ryan Morris/National Geographic Maps)

Along the way, moving at the slow beat of his footsteps, he’s using every form of written communication from 140-character tweets to 4,300-word National Geographic articles as he engages with the major stories of our time—from the science of human origins to war in the West Bank, from the use of drones to protect our cultural heritage to gauging the startling impact of cars on the human psyche.

He has also mingled with thousands of other humans, some living contentedly on the same land where they were born, others on desperate treks for work or survival, far from the places they have called home. Even in such dire situations, Paul has been struck by the kindness of the world’s homeless and dispossessed.

Now, wherever your own feet may be planted, you can join Paul in conversation and explore his experiences, and find out what’s to come for the Out of Eden Walk.

Join the LIVE Twitter chat with @PaulSalopek July 22 at 11:00 am ET using #NatGeoLive.

Journalist Paul Salopek, with Ethiopian guide, embarks on a seven-year global trek from Africa to Tierra del Fuego.
Throughout his journey, Paul is being aided by local guides and conversing with anyone he meets. (Photo by John Stanmeyer/National Geographic Creative)

The Next Steps

While Paul is in the Caucasus for the summer, reporting and preparing for the next leg of the journey, the small team behind the “Out of Eden Walk” nonprofit is working to expand the reach of the project through a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter that launched July 13.

With your support, Paul and the team will launch new university workshops on “slow journalism” and offer free digital mapping courses to the public. They also plan to expand the translation of Paul’s dispatches to reach an even wider audience. After all, humanity’s walk out of Africa is a journey that belongs to all of us.

Learn more about how you can help.

Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.
  • Maree

    Hi,
    what a great adventure and an amazing insight into the many varied and expansive cultures you will experience. Is there a reason why a water leg to access Australia to enable the observation and interact with the oldest culture in the known world The Australian Aborigines?
    Ta Maree

  • Brett Balkenhol

    I think about your journey and the light of living. Please continue in the transformation for all to witness.

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